Focusing on refrigerators, economists added benefits to the consumer and the environmental improvements that come from the program, and found for every $100 spent by taxpayers for refrigerators, $6 is lost. The rebates, which range from $50-$200, could be lowered to $30 and would result in the same consumer response, they wrote. Abrams and Parsons say while Cash for Clunkers wasted $825 million, this new program's loss will be significantly smaller but is similarly ill conceived.
The authors further explain that the program could result in more energy use because consumers will buy new refrigerators but keep the old for extra capacity. Unlike the Cash for Clunkers program, the appliance program does not require salvaging older models
Citation: Burton A. Abrams, George R. Parsons, 'Cash for Clunkers: The Uneasy Case for Subsidizing Energy Efficiency', Milken Institute Review, 1st Quarter 2010
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